Participants Reactions

Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President

  • “It is unquestionable that the greatest calamities facing humanity this century are global poverty and climate change.”
  • “Our continent, Africa, has made progress over the last ten years. That risk now to be compromised if no solid agreement is reached here.”
  • "Three years ago, we had a near-death experience. Since then, we've been limping from crisis to crisis. What is the ultimate solution? The ultimate solution is a return to growth. Where will it come from? It will come from emerging economies. From Africa.”
  • “It is not enough to create international instruments. The access for Africa is not enough. Less than 12 per cent [of global climate change funds]. The Africa Green Growth will do two things: finance green growth projects and leverage additional resources. We must ensure that Africans have the access which is equitable and just.”
  • “In the year 2000, The Economist had a cover that said, 'Africa: The Hopeless Continent'. This week the cover says, 'Africa: The Rising Star.' I like that!”
  • “We have two challenges, fighting global poverty and fighting climate change. Fail the one, fail the other.”
  • “We cannot fight climate change by condemning Africa to poverty.”

Lord Stern, Professor of Economics and Government, LSE

  • Green options for Africa: “From large-scale solar with transmission grids to off-grid solar in villages. And the massive hydropower of the Congo River to water harvesting. This about the private sector. The experience of the African Development Bank will be very important in bringing in those resource flows.”

Jean Ping, Chair, African Union Commission

  • “One Africa, one message. Could you repeat please?” Audience, loud: “One Africa, one message.”
  • “Addressing the climate finance question adequately and fairly is central in building trust and solidarity among developed and developing countries through demonstrating commitment in addressing this global phenomenon, climate change”
  • “The pledge was made by developed countries to provide new and additional resources approaching 30 billion in fast start finance for the period 2010 to 2012. There are legitimate reasons to suspect that those pledges have remained largely pledges, not real commitments; since very little of these has been made good”

Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia

  • “Our future will be green or we will have no future. There is no plan B.”

Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary, UNECA

  • “To address climate change, Africa will need to mobilize innovative resources.”

Kendeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO

  • « Le monde industrialisé a bâti son développement sur un baril à 25 USD. Le baril est aujourd’hui à 100 USD. »
  • « En 2030, 60 pour cent de la population africaine vivront dans des villes et ils auront besoin d’emplois. Ils auront donc besoin de sources d’énergie pas chères. »

Papa Sarr from Senegal

  • As top-table talks began to come to an end in Durban, Papa Sarr from Senegal is not hopeful of any concrete outcomes for Africa. "African countries don't have synergy, and their voices need to be heard together to achieve goals. The US and EU don't have Africa's best interests at heart, so COP 17 is not going to be a success for Africa. In the future, Africa must be stronger, speaking with one voice."

Although Vuyani from South Africa

  • Although Vuyani from South Africa doesn't think there'll be any binding agreements reached, and is uncertain if the Green Climate Fund will be launched, he is hopeful that African leaders will charter a new path going forward. "I sense a paradigm shift, and maybe 10 or even five years from now we'll see Africa having a far more important role, due to the strides it is making  in green energy"

A South African delegate

  • A South African delegate who works in local government says, "Poorer people living along rivers are most affected by climate change in the host country.  South Africa  is affected by floods and droughts. The government is not doing enough yet, but we are getting there. At local and provincial level, adaptation strategies are being adopted.

Phyliccia Adou from the Ministry of Environment, Nigeria

  • Phyliccia Adou from the Ministry of Environment, Nigeria says, "I'm excited we have the Africa Pavilion for the first time. It's important for us to come together to proffer solutions for Africa by Africans. Strategies for adaptation are key, and this is what African leaders must focus on, especially in the agricultural sector."


"Fighting global poverty and climate change are the two most important battles of this century..."

Read more about what AfDB's President said at COP17

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